Platitudes, entitled amateurism, popular delusions, and erroneous information are all conspicuously absent from this collection of detailed novel writing guides and maxims. The goal is to provide you, the aspiring novel author, with the skills and knowledge it takes to realistically compete in the commercial book market of the 21st century.
The best "bad novel writing advice" articles culled from Novel Writing on Edge. The point isn't to axe grind, it's to warn writers of all the terrible advice floating around the novel writing universe. From conferences to writer groups, the acid rain never stops falling. By posting these articles, we dearly hope we can save a few misdirected souls. Michael Neff, director of Algonkian Writer Conferences is the primary author, with an assist from Chris Stewart. Beware brutal reviewers!
Writer takeaways on craft and development learned from the best books on technique utilized in the commercial novel writing program (the forum above) including "The Art of Fiction" by John Gardner, "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass, "Write Away" by Elizabeth George, and "The Writing Life" by Annie Dillard. NOTE: the links below are selections from our AAC highlights forum, Kara's Cabinet of Themes and Curiosities.
A forum for NY Pitch and Algonkian Event attendees posting assignments related to their novel or nonfiction. Assignments include conflict levels, antagonist and protagonist sketches, plot lines, setting, and story premise. Publishers and agents use this forum to obtain information before and after the conference event, therefore, writers should focus on responses and edit as necessary. Included are NY conference reviews, narrative critique sub-forums, and a Development Sitemap.
The NWNV "Shooting Gallery" provides writers with the chance to test market their best SFF novels and hopefully score a contract. Agents and TV/Film reps will check in and review work during 2021. AAC will edit beforehand as needed. This particular SG for Algonkian alums only.
"Real World Genres Shooting Gallery" provides writers with opportunities to test market their best novels and hopefully score a contract. Agents and TV/Film reps will check in and review work during 2021. AAC will edit beforehand as needed. This particular SG for Algonkian alums only.
Algonkian events nurture intimate, carefully managed environments conducive to practicing the skills and learning the knowledge necessary to approach the development and writing of a competitive commercial or literary novel. We believe you were not born to be a good or great author, but that you stand on the shoulders of great authors gone before and only by hard work will you succeed. Below are links to subject topics concerning Algonkian. Feel free to contact us with any questions or observations.
The Best of AAC. A collection of ravels and unravels, combed feed, and worthwhile nuggets plucked from many sources here at AAC. Kara carefully selects only the best and presents them in an array certain to illuminate and entertain.
A forum for posting and commenting on the many (and often ridiculous) novel writing advice videos found on Youtube. Feel free to let it rip, but be respectful. Nothing derogatory concerning the speakers. The mission here is to expose and question bad novel writing advice that does not bear up under scrutiny. Members of the Algonkian Critics Film Board (ACFB) include Kara Bosshardt, Gardner Browning, Joseph Hall, Elise Kipness, Michael Neff, and Audrey Woods.
Book reviews taken to the next level for the benefit of aspiring authors. This includes a unique novel-development analysis of contemporary novels by Algonkian Editor Audrey Woods. If you're in the early or middle stages of novel writing, you'll get a lot from this. We cannot thank her enough and look forward to her future thoughts and manifestations.
Marketing our Algonkian Writer Conferences coffee brand. Goes perfect with Author Connect, and in so many ways. Crafted for writers by writers. A smooth, full-bodied blend of Sumatran velvet and Nicaraguan dark. Guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing. Seriously. It's damn good coffee, and if you don't like it we'll refund via Paypal. No joke.
CrimeReads is a culture website for people who believe suspense is the essence of storytelling, questions are as important as answers, and nothing beats the thrill of a good book. It's a single, trusted source where readers can find the best from the world of crime, mystery, and thrillers. No joke,
AAC can't help but deliver the best bloggish content that will inspire writers to new leaps of imagination. This one is mostly new releases, bestsellers, literary fiction historical fiction, mysteries, popular non-fiction, memoirs and biographies.
A hub for all things fantasy (plus some SF). Book reviews, games, author interviews, features, serial fiction- you name it. The Fantasy Hive is a collaborative site formed of unique personalities who just want to celebrate fantasy. Btw, the SFF novel to the left by one of our members, Warwick Gleeson, was a "Top 150 Best Books" Kirkus pick in 2019.
Women On Writingis an online magazine and community for women writers. Among major topics are novel writing, indie publishing, author platform,blogging, screenwriting, and more. Lots of contests and general jocularity sans frittering on the part of Earth's most powerful humans.
Bringing you the famous and cheeky SBTB blog for romance enthusiasts. If you're into the romance genre, this is where you want to be. If you're not, avoid at all costs to preserve your sanity. Ha ha. We're just kidding. There are some good things happening in the genre. Stay Golden, Horny Girl!
From one of the most classic literary journals of all time, famous for its author interviews (among other things), comes the PR feed. Grab your coffee and conjure your most literary mindset cause you're going to need it. Academics and shut-ins will wet their pants over this. Ya gotta love it!
The transcript for Podcast 453. Uzma Jalaluddin and Hana Khan Carries On – with Bonus COVID Vaccine Info with Dr. Jen Gunter has been posted!
This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.
❤ Click here to subscribe to The Podcast →
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Silent in the Grave
RECOMMENDED: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn is $1.99! This book and series has been mentioned quite a bit on the site. Elyse recommended it if you like historical mysteries. Reader StacieH4 mentioned it for those who prefer their romance light on sex, and Reader Tina Chaney said on a podcast that the book has one of her favorite opening lines. Have you read it?
“Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.”
These ominous words, slashed from t
Maud let out a loud sigh of relief as she sank into her comfortable seat on the plane. She surprised herself, because she rarely showed her feelings. She stole a glance at the passenger next to her, a young man in a suit who was busy trying to stuff his elegant black carry-on into the overhead bin. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t manage to close the door. Good. He probably hadn’t heard her little burst of emotion, which had come straight from the heart. The last few months had been extremely taxing, but now she felt as if the worst was over. At long last she could relax and look forward
Thank you Jinju! I'm wondering if my first chapter is a little boring? Or at least the first scenes?
It was just days into harvest and Hild's neck and cheeks were already stained pink from the sun. He swung the leather satchel of plums over his shoulder and glanced up at the heavy branches above-head. Blue and purple clusters of dark fruits were wreathed in curling, green leaves.
Orange rays peaked through thinning mid-morning clouds that swept across thriving green orchards and hayfields, beneath a boundless blue sky. The sight saddened H
Please join Valerie Stivers and Hank Zona for a virtual, Melville-themed wine tasting on Friday, May 7, at 6 P.M. on The Paris Review’s Instagram account. For more details, visit our events page, or scroll down to the bottom of the article.
Photo: Erica MacLean.
Whenever I would tell someone I was cooking from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick for my next column, they would gleefully shriek, “Whale steaks!” And I would dither a bit and explain that no, those are illegal in America, and that I was instead planning to make two forms of chowder, clam and cod, that weren’t going to be very different f
“Ideas changed the world. Thoughts changed the world – and thoughts could be written down. I had forgotten that writing could have such urgency, that writing could matter to history, that literature might have consequence. Strangely, tragically, I’d forgotten that such things were even possible.”
“Turin, the Esoteric City, was saturated with magic both black and white. Every brick and baroque cornice in the city was shot through with the supernatural.”
Bruce Sterling’s new short story collection Robot Artists & Black Swans (2021), collects stories written as by Bruno Argento, Bruce Sterl
Is It Just a ‘Token’ Effort?
So there we were on Wednesday this week, duly reporting on the dash to digital by the spring/summer international book trade shows. (London Book Fair, Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the US Book Show, and more, all must again be digitally mounted again this year as coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic conditions remain unpredictable in early summer.)
And then something else happened: Amazon announced the creation and activation of Kindle Vella, a platform for serialized writing.
The significance of this played out in two perfectly positioned messages to the news media.
On August 30th, 1889, Arthur Conan Doyle attended a dinner at the Langham Hotel in London with J. M. Stoddart, the publishing agent for a Philadelphia-based magazine called Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. Stoddart had arrived in London hoping to commission brand-new works of fiction that might appeal to their American readers. Conan Doyle, who was a doctor and merely thirty, was also already well-known as a writer. He had published several novels: The Mystery of Cloomber in 1888, and the historical adventure novel Micah Clarke earlier, in 1889. And of course, in 1887, he had published his inaug
There is a brutal rape in my forthcoming novel. The scene plays out twice. Once from the perspective of the character who is experiencing it. And once from the point of view of the character who witnesses the brutality… and does not intervene.
Horrifying. And intentionally so.
But the reasons for this character’s decision are sound ones, a split second response in a world that’s gone mad. Regardless, the decision haunts her and leads to a cascade of choices that lead both characters astray.
In the early stages of development of the story, I noticed a particular strain of criticism of that p
Virginia recently passed a bill that bans the use of gay and trans “panic” defenses in criminal proceedings. The panic defense argues that violence is justifiable when the victim is perceived to be gay or trans. The most egregious version of this defense happens in cases where defendants will claim that a sexual advance from the victim triggered an uncontrollable, violent response in the defendant. In cases such as these, defendants are not making a claim about their own gender or sexual identity. The assumption rests solely on the idea that minorities are the cause of their own victimization.
I’ve got a secret, one I’ve never been willing to reveal in my twenty plus years as a librarian. I hate to burst the readers’ collective bubble, but here is the plain unvarnished truth, and you can trust a librarian to give you the correct answer, even if it’s painful. Here it is. Librarians are not allowed to read in the library. I’ve never pulled a book off a shelf and curled up in a chair even if there is a blizzard outside and no chance of a customer snowmobiling up to the front door. Sure, I can dip into a book to answer a customer’s question, but otherwise, no reading. It would be consid
CrimeReads editors select the month’s best new nonfiction crime books.
The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense
By Edward White
(W.W. Norton & Co.)
White’s study of Hitchcock is an endlessly engaging and insightful read, breaking down the Master of Suspense’s life into twelve aspects, each illuminated with clever analysis of the director’s work. From Hitchcock “the dandy” to Hitchcock “the voyeur” and Hitchcock “the man of God,” White offers up incisive commentary on the multitudes contained within the man’s larger-than-life persona, and the live
http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/poster-203x300.jpeg It is deeply rare that all four of the humans who reside in my home enjoy the same piece of entertainment. I think the last time this happened, we were watching Good Omens.
Thunder Force is nothing like Good Omens except that all four of us had a terrific time watching it, and I was as immensely pleased with myself for selecting it for our Friday night pizza and a movie. It is ideal “watch over dinner” television.
Thunder Force occupies the quadrant territory of media that is not objectively brilliant or per
by Stephanie Dethlefs I love lists. I love maps. I love schedules, routines, and plans. I’m spontaneity-challenged. I want to know what’s coming, always. I know these things about myself (and, perhaps more importantly, my husband knows them about me.) I’ve always leaned into this characteristic in all areas...except writing. I hated prewriting activities when I was in school. I just wanted my stories to emerge from the pencil like water from a faucet. I would avoid writing outlines with a pout and a touch of procrastination. I turned in first drafts and pleaded innocence. In elementary s
A | BN | K | AB Uzma Jalaluddin joins Amanda and me to talk about Hana Khan Carries On, which caused one of us some Bad Decisions Book Club membership. We discuss the book (no spoilers, don’t worry!) and the fabulous podcasting heroine, Hana, who’s got a You’ve Got Mail kind of relationship with the owner of a rival Halal restaurant. We cover representation, gorgeous cover art, and writing about characters finding and using their voices. It’s so much fun – Uzma is a wonderful guest.
But first! We have a special health bulletin of sorts. This week I interviewed Dr. Jen Gunter for her upcoming b
The Arctic Fury
RECOMMENDED: The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister is $1.99! Carrie gave this historical mystery a B+. It’s also a KDD!
I loved this book. It kept me in suspense and when it was over I wanted to read it again. It sent me down many Google rabbit holes, which is my favorite kind of book. I recommend this for people who aren’t averse to ambiguity, who like stories of adventure and exploration as well as intersectional examinations of women’s lives, and to people who like mystery/thrillers.
Yes, I admit, I caved to the hype and read (or rather listened to) Midnight Sun, the latest installment of the guilty-pleasure franchise that is Twilight. I'll also admit that I was one of the millions of teenage girls who read the original quadrilogy under the table during math class, breathlessly wondering whether Bella would end up with Edward or Jacob (the vampire and werewolf, respectively, for those who didn't partake in this pop culture juggernaut). At the time I was young, lonely, and as ill-fitting in teenage society as any bookworm. So who can blame me for using this vanilla-bland ch
Photo: Matt Gush
Tim Powers is a unique voice in Fantasy. He specialises in rigorously researched secret histories, in which gaps in the historical record are explained by the fantastical or the supernatural. But this description hardly does justice to his incredible novels, which are among the most inventive and joyous I have ever read. His Philip K. Dick Award winning novel The Anubis Gates (1983) is a delirious time travel tale involving body-hopping werewolves and Egyptian mythology. The Drawing Of The Dark (1979) imagines the Siege of Vienna as a magical battleground involving the reinca
Fallible Justice is, at its core, a detective novel. Yannia Wilde is a PI who must prove a man’s innocence before he is sentenced to death for a high-profile murder. But Yannia’s London is one where magical beings co-exist with humans, and justice is meted out by the all-knowing, infallible beings called Heralds. They’re never wrong. So how can they be wrong in this case?
I loved Yannia. She’s a smart woman who is struggling to come to terms with her past, and she seems utterly realistic in her thoughts and feelings. She was raised in a commune of Wild Folk, which was idyllic in some ways but
Trained by reading hundreds of submissions, editors and agents often make their read/not-read decision on the first page. In a customarily formatted book manuscript with chapters starting about 1/3 of the way down the page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type), there are 16 or 17 lines on the first page.
Here’s the question:
Would you pay good money to read the rest of the chapter? With 50 chapters in a book that costs $15, each chapter would be “worth” 30 cents.
So, before you read the excerpt, take 30 cents from your pocket or purse. When you’re done, decide what to do with those